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Economic Developers Hope Expanded Megasite Will Lure Major Manufacturer To Randolph County

Economic planners hope that expanding the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite will make the area even more attractive to a major manufacturer. The Randolph County Planning Board is meeting Tuesday night and is scheduled to take public comment on a proposal to re-zone an additional 370 acres that would be added to the 1,500 acres already zoned to accommodate a large industrial operation.

Many people suspect that the main target for the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite is a Toyota-Mazda electric vehicle plant.

Kevin Franklin, Vice President of the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, said that such a facility could really boost the region's revenue.

"Look at Mississippi or Tennessee or some of these other states that have had large auto [manufacturers]... in those states, they have had a tremendous impact not just in the direct location of the site but statewide," he said.

Franklin said he is aware of the speculation about Toyota-Mazda but said there is no particular project attached to the Megasite initiative.

"It's not just automotive, it could be aviation, could be other advanced manufacturing facilities that need lots of room, so we're open to the possibilities of an end user that would be a high impact user in terms of investment but primarily that's going to create a lot of jobs for the county and for the region," Franklin said.

In addition to Tuesday night's Planning Board meeting, there is a public information session planned for Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Providence Grove High School, in Climax, N.C.

Rusty Jacobs is a politics reporter for WUNC.
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